We really don’t. But the truth is, the vast majority of all plastic produced can't be or won't be recycled. StateImpact Pennsylvania is a collaboration among WITF, WHYY, WPSU, and The Allegheny Front. In 40 years, less than 10% of plastic has ever been recycled. Read their reports on this site, and hear them on public radio stations across Pennsylvania. Recycling, the former officials told NPR and Frontline, became a way to preempt the bans and sell more plastic. And the industry now produces many more different — and more complex — kinds of plastics that are more costly to sort and in many cases can't be recycled at all. We want to solve this.”. But here's a look at some of our key findings. Tags Plastics people — brace yourselves. But it’s estimated that no more than 10% of plastic produced has ever been recycled. In 40 years, less than 10% of plastic has ever been recycled. Plastic Wars, a documentary by Frontline and NPR, premieres March 31 at 10/9c on PBS stations and online. But they said the industry is funding new technology that they believe will get recycling plastic up to scale. Registered in England and Wales. “Five, 10 years ago, the industry response was a little more combative. We want to solve this.". You can watch the full documentary film from this investigation on the PBS series Frontline. . , a trading division of Informa PLC. "Five, 10 years ago, the industry response was a little more combative. “If the public thinks the recycling is working, then they’re not going to be as concerned about the environment.”, More recycling means fewer profits for oil and gas companies. The industry was facing initiatives to ban or curb the use of plastic. Once an unrivaled political power, … But their own internal records dating back to the 1970s show that industry officials long knew that recycling plastic on a large scale was unlikely to ever be economically viable. FRONTLINE and NPR investigate the fight over the future of plastics. Houston Public Media is supported with your gifts to the Houston Public Media Foundation and is licensed to the University of Houston. Gas prices remain at historic lows, making new plastic cheaper than recycled plastic. Plastic is now more prevalent than it's ever been and harder to recycle. The goal, they say, is to recycle 100% of the plastic they make. ", The industry promoted recycling to keep plastic bans at bay. “Recycling has to get more efficient, more economic. Plastic Wars, a documentary by Frontline and NPR, premieres March 31 at 10/9c on PBS stations and online. Despite this, three former top officials, who have never spoken publicly before, said the industry promoted recycling as a way to beat back a growing tide of antipathy toward plastic in the 1980s and ’90s. But if it’s not a top concern for voters, how much can it help? The vast majority of plastic can't be or won't be recycled. Editor's note: NPR will be publishing stories from this investigative series in the weeks and months ahead, even as we focus our current coverage on the coronavirus pandemic. Pennsylvanians want a lot from their lawmakers when it comes to climate change, At hearing on Mariner East safety, plaintiffs say Sunoco’s public awareness plan falls short. If Biden becomes president, will he be able to roll back Trump’s climate-policy rollbacks? We at PlasticsToday will be watching, and you should, too. "Recycling has to get more efficient, more economic. In a joint investigation, NPR and the PBS series Frontline found that oil and gas companies — the makers of plastic — have known that all along, even as they spent millions of dollars telling the American public the opposite. But here’s a look at some of our key findings. https://www.plasticstoday.com/sites/all/themes/penton_subtheme_plasticstoday/images/logos/footer.png. Get highlights, trending news and behind-the-scenes insights from Houston Public Media delivered to your inbox each week. Industry analysts expect oil and gas demands from the chemicals industry will surpass the demand from the transport side in the coming decade. ‎Show FRONTLINE: Film Audio Track | PBS, Ep Plastic Wars - Apr 6, 2020 To see more, visit https://www.npr.org. Today, it truly is not just PR. MGS Breaks Ground on Expansion of Headquarters in Wisconsin, Priority Plastics Installs Unique Single-Stage ISBM System, Mack Group Marks 100th Anniversary with Generous Bonuses, Loop Industries: Pay No Attention to the Man Behind the Curtain, Polyphthalamide Boosts Performance in Fuel Cell Engines, North American Automotive Tooling Spend to Post 31% Year-on-Year Decline, Talent Talk: More Reasons Why Professionals Change Jobs, Allowed HTML tags:


. Copyright 2020 NPR. Here are our key takeaways from our investigation: Plastics industry had “serious doubt” recycling would ever be viable. For decades, Americans have been sorting their trash believing that most plastic could be recycled. Editor’s note: This story is part of a joint investigation with the PBS series Frontline that includes the upcoming documentary Plastic Wars, which premieres March 31 at 10/9c on PBS stations and online. But the more plastic is recycled, the less money the industry will make selling new plastic. Industry analysts expect oil and gas demands from the chemicals industry will surpass the demand from the transport side in the coming decade. We will share our views on what the show got right as well as any omissions, factual errors and half-truths that we spot, and look forward to your comments, as well. But their own internal records dating back to the 1970s show that industry officials long knew that recycling plastic on a large scale was unlikely to ever be economically viable. Plastic Wars, a documentary by Frontline and NPR, premieres March 31 at 10/9c on PBS stations and online. Freeman is one of three executives speaking publicly for the first time, according to Frontline, shedding “new light on the industry's efforts to overcome growing concern about plastic waste by pushing recycling.”. The Pennsylvania Guide to Hydraulic Fracturing, or 'Fracking', DEP: The Department That Regulates and Oversees Drilling, Mariner East: A pipeline project plagued by mishaps and delays, Pipelines: The new battleground over fracking. You can watch the full documentary film from this investigation on the PBS series Frontline. The industry was facing initiatives to ban or curb the use of plastic. We don't like to see [waste in the environment] either. But the truth is, the vast majority of all plastic produced can’t be or won’t be recycled. “There was never an enthusiastic belief that recycling was ultimately going to work in a significant way,” says Lew Freeman, former vice president of government affairs for the industry’s lobbying group, then called the Society of the Plastics Industry, or SPI. And the industry now produces many more different — and more complex — kinds of plastics that are more costly to sort and in many cases can’t be recycled at all. Here’s What You Need To Know. ", More recycling means fewer profits for oil and gas companies. Efforts to reduce plastic consumption are mounting nationwide, but any plan to slow the growth of plastic will face an industry with billions of dollars of future profits at stake.